Thursday, August 25, 2005

Learned Instincts?

You know how some people just feel like home? They feel good, right? Like velvety body pillows (on sale now for $20 at Target - FYI) or well-loved books. You slip into them like old slippers.

A fine feeling. But what happens when "home" wasn't always the best place to be? I learned all my worst habits there. Never quite felt good enough. Not deserving of love. Invisible.

Sometimes the people that feel like home are the worst people for me to be around. The interaction begins, and I slip into family chemistry and start to disappear -- or tap dance to stay visible -- or get "perfect" to deserve their love.

The attraction to these kinds of people is an addict's attraction to alcohol -- or sex -- or shopping. It's deep-rooted instinct and feels so right -- right until you notice it's very very wrong.

I know these instincts can be re-learned, and awareness is the first step, and blah blah blah.

Here's my question: How can you distinguish between NO chemistry and an absence of BAD chemistry?

I find this to be much harder. It's much easier now for me to recognize that adrenaline surge of familiarity that I now interpret to mean: "Danger, danger. WRONG WAY! DO NOT ENTER! Something wicked this way comes..."

But I am at a loss for what to do when no alarm bells ring at all. I tend to think no chemistry means no interest, but what if it just means: "Be patient! You have to learn how to recognize what's here that's good for you!"

Ah, Patience. Never my virtue. Always some far-away country that people tell me to visit. The brochure looks lovely. But so foreign! And how on earth do you get there?

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